Ofsted's Impact on Student and Teacher Wellbeing

Author: Bethany Spencer

Posted: 15 Feb 2019

Estimated time to read: 3 mins

The stress and pressure teachers are under has long been at the forefront of most peoples’ minds in education. For years now teachers have been subjected to excruciatingly long working hours, immense amounts of pressure and impossibly high standards which ultimately take their toll on teachers’ overall wellbeing.

A source of this pressure has always been Ofsted inspections, the desire for schools to prove themselves worthy of a high rating adds to teachers’ workloads and encourages them to focus more on students grades as opposed to their learning experience. However, Ofsted’s new proposed framework hopes to change the way they impact education and seemingly better reflects the actual role of a teacher, but will it have a positive impact on wellbeing?

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Broad curriculum

The changes proposed by Ofsted include promoting the teaching of a broad and rich curriculum and avoid ‘specialising’ in subjects until necessary. This will help to promote arts subjects and will encourage students to explore subjects and help them to find their passions and talents. This will also help to alleviate some of the pressures students feel when it comes to specialising and allow them to pursue their true passions.


In the new proposed framework there is much more of an emphasis on good student behaviour, the focus on this will help to promote the implementation of good classroom management and will reward teachers in their abilities to keep students engaged and on task, which contributes to their overall learning experience.

Not only this, but they’ll be placing a stronger emphasis on school’s actions on bullying. This not only helps to further promote a positive school culture, it puts student wellbeing on Ofsted’s agenda and recognises the work teachers and schools do outside of the classroom.

Route to results

Perhaps the most pivotal change in the new Ofsted framework will be that they won’t simply look at students’ grades and rate schools based on this - instead, they will look at how students achieve their grades.

This is perhaps the change that is most reflective of the role of a teacher, as it will take into account the whole teaching and learning experience as opposed to simply focusing on an outcome, promoting the teaching of a broad and rich curriculum over cramming.

Lessen workload

Ofsted have recognised the stress and pressure teachers are under with regards to their workload, and also the contribution inspections can have towards this and as such, have attempted to address these in the new framework by ‘no longer relying on teachers’ internal data performance for their inspections’.

It appears as though Ofsted have good intentions with their new framework, and in theory these changes could help in reducing teacher workload and promoting teacher happiness. This new framework does take into account the complete role of teachers and encourages a more holistic approach to learning and inspections, however we will not know the true effectiveness of it until it is put in practice.

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